Mara Hruby is one classy, beautiful lady. But, I'm here to discuss her music. But, if she happens to read this ... We should get dinner sometime. I'd fly out to Cali for that ;) ... Anyway, Hruby's excellent 2010 EP From Her Eyes--one of my top releases of that year--just turned two years old and, to commemorate the occasion, she released a cover of Al Green's sexy soul ballad "Simply Beautiful".
What I loved so much about From Her Eyes was how, hence the title, Hruby covered seven male-driven R&B, soul and reggae tunes and flipped them to a feminine perspective simply by singing them. I appreciated this because, as a man, it's nice to hear those songs in that different way. Rather than relating to what the singer is saying as another man, I feel as if I am being sung to. I'm sure for women it's just as interesting to be able to relate to these songs as the one doing the singing and enticing. It's especially appealing to me on a sexy, slow jam like Mos Def's "The Panties" or even more so on this new song to have Hruby singing seductively in my ear.
Yes, any of today's many beautiful, talented female artists could do a cover like this and change a song's male perspective, but none can do it quite like Hruby. For one, her voice exudes femininity in a way I've never heard before. It seemingly contains everything that is beautiful, powerful, and possibly dangerous, about women. Aside from her alluring voice, there's also Hruby's incredible talent as a producer. Just as she did on From Her Eyes, she produced, engineered and arranged everything in this song. It's really the production of her music that makes it so magical. Perfectly complimenting her voice, her production is soft, smooth, beautiful and multifaceted. "Simply Beautiful" is a "stripped-down" recording for her, but it sure doesn't sound like it. Everything from the dual acoustic guitars to the household objects Hruby plays in the background--such as spoons, loose change, a metal Buddha head with a safety pin, and scratching against a scarf--sounds alive and perfectly clear.
You don't just listen to this song; you feel it in your soul. So when you press play, sit back and just let it happen. The title says it all.
Also, check out this video interview with Hruby to get more acquainted with her (inner as well as outer) beauty:
A Moment With: Mara Hruby (Part 1) from About Her Films on Vimeo